AfterDawn: Tech news

Microsoft sued over virtual MS Points

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 27 Jan 2010 3:00 User comments (18)

Microsoft sued over virtual MS Points Samuel Lassoff, a class action attorney in Pennsylvania has announced today that he has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft over the virtual Microsoft Points, the currency system used to buy games and content through Xbox Live.
Lassoff says the system rips off users, and that he recently was charged for downloads which could not be completed "due to nature of the download system."

Says the filing: "Microsoft has engaged in a scheme to unjustly enrich itself through their fraudulent handling," of accounts.

Although we do not know the exact details of what occurred with his account, the points system being a ripoff is not a new claim. $20 USD will get you 1600 MS points, unlike Wii virtual points, where that same $20 will get you a more straightforward 2000 points. The points you buy also never seem to add up correctly for games you want to buy and you are left with leftovers that are useless until you supplant them with more points.

Because some users just let those points go to waste, Lassoff says "Microsoft breached that contract by collecting revenues for digital goods and services which were not provided."

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18 user comments

127.1.2010 3:27
fgamer
Inactive

Serves them right, almost everything they do to try and dominate is shiesty.

227.1.2010 4:13

I hope this guy wins I am getting tired of having to purchase points just buy music and I am starting to look for an alternative to zune because of this. I heard they were going to start doing something with cash value equaling the points but it's too little too late.

327.1.2010 4:32

Yeah! Awesome job, Samuel. You make the consumer happy and the video game industry a potentially better place by filing that lawsuit. After being restricted from purchases of any kind on Xbox Live on my account because of an inability to change the location my account was registered under, I'm now forced to purchase point/Gold membership cards from Europe! Show Microsoft who's on top.

427.1.2010 4:54

Quite right, I am sick of having to buy extra points to afford an item, then be left over with points, it should be more like the PS3, where everything has a set price, rather than trying to get more money from me.

527.1.2010 5:34
av_verbal
Inactive

hmm never takes long on AD for the ps3 comparison does it.

Most micro payment content is a complete rip off, you purchase a half finished game then they sell you what used to be free made by the community extra maps & skins. You also are only renting the content as you do not own any of it from either the Marketplace, PSN, wii shop channel or Steam, etc.

read the eula agreement people & only purchase content you can save & pass on, the rest should be avoided the same as setting fire to your cash unless you are happy to pay for rental software.

Check out the new Mass Effect scam.

627.1.2010 5:52

Originally posted by av_verbal:
hmm never takes long on AD for the ps3 comparison does it.

Most micro payment content is a complete rip off, you purchase a half finished game then they sell you what used to be free made by the community extra maps & skins. You also are only renting the content as you do not own any of it from either the Marketplace, PSN, wii shop channel or Steam, etc.

read the eula agreement people & only purchase content you can save & pass on, the rest should be avoided the same as setting fire to your cash unless you are happy to pay for rental software.

Check out the new Mass Effect scam.
Yes, but most digital content providers (including the PS3) do not make you buy packs of points...it is like paying for a $5 dinner with a $20 bill...and getting $15 in "Pizza Joe's" coupons as your change.

The closest thing the PS3 has to this is the minimum order...you cannot add funds of less than $5 at a time, so you are waisting money if you buy a $4 game and then never buy anything again. But at least if a game costs $17.92, all you pay is $17.92

As to the comment about owning/renting...you don't OWN any software, music, or movies. You buy licenses for them. If you OWNed a movie, you would be completely within your rights to make copies of it, and sell the copies on the street. This is also why OEM versions of windows are locked the the system on which they were sold, and why Apple does not allow the installation of MacOS onto PCs. The only way around this is with open source software...and then you still don't own it...no one does.

Personaly, I wish sony would put every single PS3 game ever made onto the PSN...I hate disk swapping and I am willing to mod my console to avoid it...but I would rather Sony would just fix this issue for me. Also, I think that having a digital license in my name to run the games is a lot closer to ownership than just having some disk that I could have rented from the local video store.

727.1.2010 6:10

this will be disclosed out of courts and we will never hear of this guy again.

827.1.2010 6:20

Could this be why MS announced they would be going to a straight currency system recently? Shady bunch. That point system was one of the reasons why I didn't buy a 360.

927.1.2010 6:36

i agree w/you ixhotboy, this would be the LIKELY scenerio, as the courts will more than likely settle outside to keep the man happy. @ emugamer, i totally agree w/what u say, but then again i dont go online either for any console to avoid this scheme in the first place. Microsoft will probably find some way to weasel out of this lawsuit, as they have more cloud, and this guy's case would only be a drop in the bucket. - BLUEBOY

1027.1.2010 8:24
av_verbal
Inactive

forcing a minimum purchase is a disgrace & a tactic employed by despicable corporations to keep you change much the same as when you purchase a voucher and are never given the change. corporations that use these tactics are anti consumer & using said services only encourages them to rip us off every chance they get. you stop these tactics by not using the service & educating your children, friends & family & everyone you know.

KillerBug, well at least with a disc you can move it from system keep it forever, take it to a friends whenever you wish without jumping through hoops, using ti without having to sign in to your account so you can use the downloaded content otherwise you lose game functionality.

yes you had purchased a licence to use the software, music, movies but you were allowed to sell, lend it or even give it away which was considered fair use, what downloaded digital content is doing is removing this right.

have you heard of the first sale doctrine?

The doctrine allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained. This means that the copyright holder's rights to control the change of ownership of a particular copy end once that copy is sold, as long as no additional copies are made but you lose this right with downloaded digital content

the industry is trying to destroy the second hand games market & force everyone to purchase new only spewing rhetoric about piracy & publishers not getting paid for second hand sales. you don't hear the motor manufacturers complaining & demanding monies from the sale of second hand cars do you?

so you're happy to have all you content downloaded digitally, how happy will you be when the DRM servers are switched off and your content is useless, are you happy to pay full price to rent media.

if you think this wouldn't happen & sony, microsoft would just switch off the DRM check & stab customers in the back & force them to purchase media all over again think again as they already have.

google;

"sony connect drm" & "msn music drm"

>>edit<<

and here is the next anti consumer move:

Quote:
Following up on our discussion yesterday of annoying game distribution platforms, Ubisoft has announced the details of their Online Services Platform, which they will use to distribute and administer future PC game releases. The platform will require internet access in order to play installed games, saved games will be stored remotely, and the game you're playing will even pause and try to reconnect if your connection is lost during play. Quoting Rock, Paper, Shotgun:
everything online, everything locked to you, because of the internet clause this nullifies the first sale doctrine which is their goal, add to that all your private habits monitored and sold to 3rd parties, because they still dont make enough money, greedy F******.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Jan 2010 @ 9:04

1127.1.2010 9:36

Serves Microsoft right. I predict over the next few years that consumers will shy away from Microsoft and their rip off ways.

1227.1.2010 11:09

PSN's normal currency FTW.

1327.1.2010 16:39

I always thought MS Points were just a simple way to cover up the real price... Everythin' sounds cheaper in "points" then in real currency for people that don't care to make the comparison.

1427.1.2010 16:51
scum101
Inactive

Quote:
The only way around this is with open source software...and then you still don't own it...no one does.
errr.. WRONG .. we ALL own it.. that's the difference!!

dirty microsoft stealing from people again... well theres a surprise.. like I'm shocked.. really I am.. a huge anti-trust guilty corporation who pay illegal backhanders to manufacturers and retailers to only supply and stock their product scams it's customers too.. wow.. like yeah.. really..

Old saying.. "If windoze was free open source NOBODY would use it because it isn't good enough"

1527.1.2010 20:59

Just another hippy crack lawsuit. Maybe the guy will show up in a wheelchair with his 2$ complaint and walk away with 2.1 million.

---->The American Dream

1627.1.2010 23:55

Quote:
KillerBug, well at least with a disc you can move it from system keep it forever, take it to a friends whenever you wish without jumping through hoops, using ti without having to sign in to your account so you can use the downloaded content otherwise you lose game functionality.

I know that the PSN DRM servers will be turned on for at least the next 10 years...and by then I won't want to play any of these games anyway (and I will probably be able to download them to an emulator on PC). At least on the PS3, you can go to 4 friends and install the game on all their systems...you can even play the games against eachother...you cannot do this with a disk-based game. Sony does not prevent users from selling their PSN games, they don't even have a problem with people doing gamesharing.

Quote:
have you heard of the first sale doctrine?
Yes I have...but it is not needed when you have a good License Agreement...sure, I can legaly give away my copy of a game to a friend...or I could use one of my game shares to give him the game, while still keeping it myself...or I could sell all (or one) of my gameshares online...this gives me a whole lot more control than the First Sale Doctorine gives me for DVDs...and this ignors the FACT that computer software is not covered by the First Sale Doctorine (you would know that if you had not simply copied the definition from M-W.com).

1728.1.2010 5:12
av_verbal
Inactive

Quote:

I know that the PSN DRM servers will be turned on for at least the next 10 years...and by then I won't want to play any of these games anyway (and I will probably be able to download them to an emulator on PC). At least on the PS3, you can go to 4 friends and install the game on all their systems...you can even play the games against eachother...you cannot do this with a disk-based game. Sony does not prevent users from selling their PSN games, they don't even have a problem with people doing gamesharing.
so all them classic hits you would never play again because said company turned off the servers and nuked all your software, what an investment you games are. are you condoning piracy, you would steal these games when the servers are switched off and run an emulator, why not just be able to play legally purchased content for the rest of your life?

i still play marioworld on the n64, and final fantasy 7 on my ps1 & many other titles, unlike you i am not happy to throw my money away being duped into purchasing software that will expire when Sony, MSN, Nintendo, EA, Eidos, decide to turn it off, and force us to purchase it all again on the latest great idea to rip off the customers.

BTW read your PS3, PSP Go, PSN EULA, is is illegal to sell on your downloaded content, it is a criminal offence, when you sell your hardware you must format your hard drive, again this is a criminal offence if you fail to do so.


Quote:
Yes I have...but it is not needed when you have a good License Agreement...sure, I can legaly give away my copy of a game to a friend...or I could use one of my game shares to give him the game, while still keeping it myself...or I could sell all (or one) of my gameshares online...this gives me a whole lot more control than the First Sale Doctorine gives me for DVDs...and this ignors the FACT that computer software is not covered by the First Sale Doctorine (you would know that if you had not simply copied the definition from M-W.com).
a good licence agreement would allow you to sell your content, give your content away and guarantee that you will never lose content you have paid for, other wise its a rental and worthless, BTW seems you are continually going on about sony their agreement blocks you from passing content on.

as i stated previous the reason for online content is to enable the scum companies to circumvent the law as it has unique data that they state is locked to you, the licences are restrictive and anti consumer.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Jan 2010 @ 5:14

1828.1.2010 6:08

Quote:
so all them classic hits you would never play again because said company turned off the servers and nuked all your software, what an investment you games are. are you condoning piracy, you would steal these games when the servers are switched off and run an emulator, why not just be able to play legally purchased content for the rest of your life?
You got it...I have several banker's boxes of old games going all the way back to the 2600...I don't even know why I keep them because I never play them. I don't even use my PS2 anymore...and the PS2 is still being sold new. The sad fact is that most PS3 games are only worth playing once, the better ones might be worth getting 100% on, and a couple of them are worth playing online once they are totaly beaten. With this in mind, the only long-term playing I might do is in multiplayer...and if the PSN DRM servers are off, then so are the multiplayer servers.

I can understand where you are coming from to a point...as I once bought a PC game from the bargain bin, only to find that the DRM server was already turned off when I got home. This is why I keep refering to the PS3...the PS3 is one platform where we can expect all the servers to be maintained well into the next decade.

Quote:
BTW read your PS3, PSP Go, PSN EULA is is illegal to sell on your downloaded content, it is a criminal offence, when you sell your hardware you must format your hard drive, again this is a criminal offence if you fail to do so.

The same is true of almost all software and almost all games. In fact, every disk-based game I have tried has a EULA with a similar limitation, and I think it is even illigal to sell a used computer without removing windows first. If you think that having physical media is protecting you from unreasonable limitations, then you are not paying attention. There are many things that are technicaly illigal, but mostly ignored. The fact is that AfterDawn is VERY anti-pirate, yet they have had a thread dedicated to gamesharing open for over a year...if sony had the slightest problem with people sharing games, they would not allow this (in fact, they could simply turn off game sharing if they ever decided to...like they did with GT5P).

Quote:
As i stated previous the reason for online content is to enable the scum companies to circumvent the law as it has unique data that they state is locked to you, the licences are restrictive and anti consumer.

While all the things you say they do are true, they apply to disk-based games as well. When you buy a game at the store, you are buying a license, and getting a free disk, case, and manual...it is illigal to sell the disk without the license (and impossible too), and it is the same license they would use for a online game.

Also, even if PSN games are just a rental, I am happy to pay 1/5 the price of a game to get a 10 year rental...that sounds like a great deal to me.

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